Monday, 29 December 2008

FITNESS - Frugal Fitness Tips

According to Stacy Berman, a certified fitness trainer in New York, “the first thing people reach for when they are stressed out is comfort food. That would be fine if they were keeping up their healthy routine, but fitness is often swept under the rug when a person feels the pinch in their wallet.” Stacy believes you don’t have to break the bank to stay fit.

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Stacy has devised five “frugal fitness tips” to help people stay healthy and within their budget...

Frugal Fitness Tip # 1: Strength in Numbers!

With so many consumers cutting back on spending, personal trainers and gyms are feeling the burn. Stacy recommends quitting your one-on-one training sessions in favor of a group discounted rate. “Many trainers will accept a larger group of people for a lower individual rate,” says Stacy, “it’s a great way to reduce spending on fitness but keep the motivation factor there.”

Frugal Fitness Tip #2: The Cheaper the Meat, the Bigger Your Waist

According to Stacy, many consumers will have to make sacrifices when it comes to consuming high-price items like meat. If you are a meat eater, Stacy warns you not to go overboard with cost cutting. “Often the cheapest cuts of meat are also the cuts with the highest fat content. You may be saving a dollar or two, but it could add up your calorie content higher than it used to be,” says Stacy. Instead, chose moderately priced lean cuts of meat and scale back on your side dishes.

Frugal Fitness Tip #3: Every Little Bit Counts

The world is your playground – literally! Stacy is a big fan of using everyday activities to burn extra calories. She runs her outdoor boot camp, Stacy’s Boot Camp, in the public parks of New York City, and her classes use no more than bodies and a few water bottles to garner outstanding results. “You don’t always need fancy gym equipment to get into great shape,” says Stacy, “just a set of dumbbells and a chair can get you to your fitness goals without breaking the bank.” According to Stacy, as the holiday season approaches, take advantage of calorie burning activities like raking leaves, building snowmen and ice skating!

Frugal Fitness Tip #4: Be Prepared to Prep!

The place where money is wasted the most is in the pre-packaged food aisles, says Stacy. “Spending extra money on things like pre-washed and pre-cut lettuce, for example, is a huge money pit,” says Stacy, “buying whole foods and preparing it yourself will not only cut back on costs but it will ensure you are not eating extra preservatives or additives in packaged foods.”

Frugal Fitness Tip #5: Use the “Value Menu” Wisely

Stacy admits there are times when you may have no choice but to eat at fast food restaurants. However, Stacy notes that many if not all fast food chains are offering not only healthy but appetizing options for those both on a diet and a budget. “When choosing to eat from a fast food restaurant, it’s simple to stay on the health track,” says Stacy, “I tell my clients to avoid the words ‘crisp,’ ‘double’ and ‘big’ at all costs.” There are some great choices to be had at many restaurant chains – including McDonalds Salads with Grilled Chicken and Burger King’s Whopper Jr. without cheese.

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